Contact:Chris Weidenhammer, CFA
H.I.G. Capital, LLC
H.I.G. Capital Acquires Ontario Store Fixtures, Inc.
May 20, 2002 - H.I.G. Capital, a Miami-based private equity firm, announced today that it has acquired Ontario Store Fixtures, Inc. ("OSF") in partnership with the company's management and other institutional investors. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, OSF is the largest designer and manufacturer of custom display and storage fixtures, custom body forms and metal shelving for retail stores in North America. The company has a leading market share position with many of the top apparel retailers in North America, and its metal shelving business is the largest in Canada. The company also builds custom fixtures for the financial service industries, hotels, and other commercial users of fine architectural millwork. In 2001, OSF generated nearly $200 million in revenue from more than 500 customers throughout North America.
H.I.G. Capital and the investor group acquired the assets from the court-appointed receiver of the predecessor company, which had recently filed for bankruptcy in Canada. With this acquisition, the new company starts as a strong company with industry-leading design and manufacturing capabilities, a world-class customer base, and a strong balance sheet.
"This outcome is ideal," said Harry Shier, OSF's Founder and Chairman. "Thanks to the tremendous expertise and dedication of our employees we were able to preserve a solid company and more than 1000 local Toronto jobs, not to mention our service to customers in markets that critically depend on us. The speed with which this transaction was developed and completed is truly remarkable. I am also very excited that H.I.G. Capital is a major investor in OSF and we look forward to accelerating the company's growth with their involvement."
OSF's customers include many of the largest and best known apparel retailers, including Limited Brands, Tommy Hilfiger, The Gap, and Disney. OSF is widely known in the industry to have the "best in class" finishing capability, and with its ability to manufacture fixtures from wood, metal, glass, and plastic, is the only firm able to handle the manufacturing and rollout of large scale projects simultaneously across North America.
"We are extremely excited to be partners with the entire management team and look forward to an exciting future for our new company," said Doug Berman, Managing Director of H.I.G. Capital. "Ontario Store Fixtures has an outstanding management team, number one market share position, and with this restructuring, a solid capital base. We congratulate the employees, customers, and vendors for helping OSF to emerge as a significantly stronger company."
H.I.G. Capital is a leading private equity and venture capital investment firm with more than $750 million of equity capital under management. Based in Miami, the firm specializes in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of well established, profitable, and well managed manufacturing or service businesses, and in promising early stage technology companies. Since its founding, H.I.G. Capital has made more than forty highly successful investments, acquiring companies with combined revenues in excess of $4.0 billion.